The White Elephants of Thailand with Meg Ryan

About

Meg Ryan and an elephant

Journey with Meg Ryan to the jungles of Thailand in search of the white elephant, a rare creature coveted by royalty — and threatened by extinction.

To Americans, a white elephant is a metaphor for an encumbrance, a worthless possession. To the people of Thailand, a white elephant is a highly unusual creature to be venerated, one that, along with the darker-hued members of its species, is facing escalating threats to its survival. To the actress Meg Ryan, an encounter with one is the culmination of a lifelong dream. NATURE gets a rare glimpse of the unique pachyderm in The White Elephants of Thailand with Meg Ryan.

The film presents elephants in their everyday contact with the people of Thailand, whose treatment of them ranges from adoration to exploitation. At the same time, we see them through the eyes of an American movie star — as the larger-than-life, awe-inspiring embodiment of childhood dreams.

Online content for The White Elephants of Thailand with Meg Ryan was originally posted February 2002.

Production Credits Print

Television Credits

Presented and Narrated by
MEG RYAN

Camera
NEIL HARVEY
GERRY LAW

Sound
FRASER BARBER

Wildlife Camera
ANDREW THOMPSON

Editing
MARTIN COOPER

Post Production
AIDAN FARRELL
MATT SKILTON

Music
THE MORRIGHAN

With Special Thanks to

HIS MAJESTY THE KING OF THAILAND
KHUN KEOKHWAN VAJARODAYA
KHUN ARSA SARASIN
THANPUYING BUTRI VIRAVAIDYA
M.L. PHIPHATANACHAT-RA DISKUL
SANGDUEN CHAILERT (LEK) ELEPHANT NATURE PARK
RICHARD LAIR
THAI ELEPHANT CONSERVATION CENTRE
THE ROYAL FORESTRY DEPARTMENT
WILDLIFE FUND THAILAND
MAESA ELEPHANT NURSERY
THE REGENT CHIANG MAI
BELINDA STEWART-COX
ROLF VON BUEREN

Production Managers
CERI BARNES
SARAH McHARRY

Production Co-ordinator
MELISSA BLANDFORD

Location Fixers

THOSWAN DEVAKUL
PIM KEMASINGKI

Executive Producer
JEREMY BRADSHAW

Associate Producer
LINDA BELL

PRODUCED BY
CHARLOTTE CROSSE

DIRECTED BY
NIGEL COLE

For NATURE:

Series Editor
JANET HESS

Supervising Producer
JANICE YOUNG

Producers
PATTY JACOBSON
JILL CLARKE

Associate Producer
GIANNA SAVOIE

Researcher
SUSANE LEE

Production Assistant
IRENE TEJARATCHI

Production Secretary
AUSTIN RIPLEY

Manager
EILEEN FRAHER

Production Manager
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN

Online Editor
BRIAN LONGENECKER

Series Producer
BILL MURPHY

Executive In Charge
WILLIAM GRANT

Executive Producer
FRED KAUFMAN

A Co-production of Tigress and Thirteen/WNET New York

This program was produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, which is solely responsible for its content.

Web Credits

Producer
RONNIE GODEANU

Art Director
SABINA DALEY

Designer
KAREN MATTSON

Pagebuilding
BRIAN SANTALONE

Writer
SARAH BIRNBAUM

Production Artist
RUIYAN XU

Production Assistance
MENDY JOHNSON

Technical Director
BRIAN LEE

Scientific Consultant
GIANNA SAVOIE

About the Writer
Sarah Birnbaum is an educational Web producer in New York.

Thirteen Online is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York’s Kravis Multimedia Education Center in New York City. Dan Goldman, Executive Director, thirteen.org. Bob Adleman, Business Manager.